Farmers are often forced to develop patience and adopt a hopeful attitude towards the future, trusting that seeds sown or techniques practiced today will benefit the farmer and the land in the future. We are so thankful to currently be reaping a harvest that is both diverse and plentiful. A lot of hard work has gone into preparing the garden this summer. Take a look at the progress we’ve made and what we are currently growing in the Alliance Gardens! After almost 8 months of laying fallow, the garden was a blank canvas when the Alliance Crew arrived for the summer.
After spending countless hours of single digging, forking, weeding and hoeing in the rain, wind, and blazing sun, the garden was finally prepped and our new built raised beds were ready to be planted in.
The Alliance Garden Crew used several techniques throughout the summer to manage weeds and ensure quality produce. Since a lot of weeds can reproduce through stolons (roots that form horizontally underground and can form new plants from any part of the root), the entire root system of weeds in the garden had to be removed. We used large digging forks to remove most weeds. We also used woodchips as a mulch to help increase our soil’s ability to retain water. Woodchips also act as a layer of weed control.
After forking, adding compost, and planting transplants into our beds, we added mulch and a drip irrigation system to the top of the beds. Look at the garden now!
We are thankful to have an abundant harvest of fresh produce each week. If you are interested in purchasing produce grown in the Alliance Gardens, we have a produce stand in the parking lot of Elder Hall at IWU on Wednesdays from 4-6pm. We also sell at the Marion Open Air market on Saturdays from 9am-2pm.